Residential Security System Question...

Updated on July 25, 2010
L.J. asks from Valdosta, GA
16 answers

We are considering a security system for our home after someone tried to break into our neighbors home this week while her daughter was home alone.
I've never had a security system before. What we really want is a door alarm for the front & back doors & window sensors for 4 windows (so that an alarm would go off if they were opened or broken). We live in a rural area with very little crime so we think these are older teens trying to steal stuff to make a buck, but it's still scary. I would be happy to have just an alarm go off on doors and windows as our house is very well lit and otherwise secure.

All the companies I've looked at don't mention anything about the windows anyway...they offer motion detectors which I'm not really interested, but no window sensors? I'm guessing they must not be part of the basic package, but extra. Before I start calling around...I thought I'd ask the experts ;) Anyone use theft deterrents, security or alarms not connected to an alarm company...I'm leaning that way.
Tell me what you know!

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So What Happened?

New info added...thanks for all the advice so far!

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answers from Fayetteville on

My mom and some of my aunties have comprehension alarm systems. They all include window sensors. Someone opens a window while the alarm is disengaged and an alert is sent directly to the company. They use alert alarm, sentinal, and ADT. the companies you looked at might not offer window sensors, but they do exist. Keep looking

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answers from San Francisco on

I've been thinking about getting magnetic sensors for the windows downstairs. These seem fairly inexpensive but I don't know how loud they are. What I like about them is that you don't have to pay a monthly fee to any security service. You just keep the batteries fresh just like a smoke detector and they work. They don't call 911 or alert anyone by phone like a paid service would but they are supposed to make a loud alarm which should be a deterrent to anyone trying to open the windows after you've armed them.

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answers from Fayetteville on

Hey- I got a security system put in after I got broken into and I went with ADT. They seem to be really good and I have window sensors on all of my windows. So if you open the window or if it breaks the alarm will go off. But if the alarm is off it still allows you to use the window if you want it open. I think ADT is really good and they have 24/7 customer service if you should need anything. I would look into them first. Hope this helps!



answers from Memphis on

I used to work as the marketing rep for a security company. Contact Kyle Coker, he is very reputable. They install window sensors on every window. They also have what they call glass breakers, just in case someone tries to break a window and enter. His contact info is:###-###-####. You can tell him L. referred you. He is highly recommended. Good Luck with everything!



answers from Nashville on

I got my first alarm for that very same reason in 1995 and have had one ever since! I don't feel safe without it. I also used to sell them after I got my first one. I was with ADT first but they are too pricey and costly to move. I have been with Central Security Systems for the last 10 yrs. Usually you get two doors and two windows for free along with the motion detector and then any additional windows are extra. You can also ask for more b/c there is so much competition. If you are up for the hour long speech, you could get at least 2 estimates and let them bid against each other for your business. Basically you do not need the things like glass breakage b/c usually if they break the window, they either then open the window which sets the alarm off or they come in which sets the motion detector off. I would say all doors and windows on lower level should have the taps on them. There are some companies that only charge about $10per month but are more costly to get installed. It just depends on what you want for your budget. If your house is already wired, it will be cheaper. Go with the wireless, not hardwire. You do not need the keyfob handheld thing either unless you just want it. That is where you can turn it on or off from your car or sidewalk. I just turn mine on as I leave and off as I enter. When you are home you will hit 'stay' and the motion will automatically be turned off while you sleep. Most of them offer the free doors and two windows.



answers from Louisville on

you can get door and window alarms at home depot they work great



answers from Lexington on

we use ADT and have window sensors on all our windows. The system was installed eight years ago, tho. We've been satisfied with them. Good luck!


answers from Columbus on

We just had a security system installed by Broadview. A rep came out to see the house and evaluate where we'd need the sensors/motion detectors. They work with you and your house specifications. We didn't get window sensors because we don't really have many windows that are at entry height. But to answer your question, yes, they have window sensors. I would go with some of the well-known companies (ADT, Broadview, etc.) Have a rep come to your house.
*Sorry your daughter had to go through that! My kids were pretty freaked out after our break in a year ago. The security system has been a great thing for our sense of security! Good luck!


answers from Dallas on

call the companies. Most DO wire the windows. All our doors and windows are wired. They will do what you want them to do.



answers from Dallas on

We don't have sensors on our windows. We had glass breaks installed in each room.



answers from Austin on

my husband works for suddenlink and they put stuff on all windows and they have the glass break things their montering is also cheaper then anyone elses..if they are in your area call they do their own installs and their installers are background checked and licensed through the fbi..



answers from Nashville on

I actually own a residential alarm company but we don't service GA so please don't think I'm trying to sell you something. What I would recommend based on your question is a wireless Honeywell Lynx Plus system (
with 7 sensors. Most companies will install a "kit" which is typically 3 contacts (door or window), 1 motion, 1 keyfob (remote control). However, you do not have to stick with a basic kit if you need more than that. Also, I can tell you that 2 sensors are about the same cost as 1 motion. See if your installer will swap the 1 motion in the kit for 2 more sensors. I personally recommend Monitronics for monitoring as they have excellent response time. They can also hook you up with a dealer in your area that does work for them. Their number is 800-447-9239



answers from Kansas City on

A cheap thing you can do for windows is to plant some thorny bushes, ie: roses bushes, around the windows so the burgler will get hurt when he steps around it.



answers from Chicago on

This sounds so much like I am trying to be a commercial, but go with the company that you see on TV. Either ADT or Broadview (formerly Brinks). They work. They work because they have had experience and have a HUGE number of subscribers. Good luck and God Bless.



answers from San Francisco on

One piece of advice I was given once, is check who will be installing your security system. Some companies contract out, so you have no idea who the person is. They will know where everything in your house is and what kind of security system you have. Check if the companies does background checks on them. There are also a lot of police officers that do security installation, so you could check around. The police department may also know which companies have the best response in your area. If you call the department, they may not be able to tell you, but if you ask individual officers, they may have suggestions.


answers from Dallas on

We are wired for security but not monitored. TOO many false alarms around here and its not worth it in my miind.

We also have 3 dogs who instinctly have great ears for something out of order.

We do have the "babysitter" alarm which is a signal each time a door or window opens. That feature is on 24/7. I LOVE that feature. I only arm my system if hubby is out of town or if the pet/house sitter is here, she arms the system.

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